Black Panther costume designer to come to Iowa State


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Ruth E. Carter, costume designer for Black Panther will be coming to Iowa State Tuesday.

Olivia Hanson

Wakanda forever!

Ruth E. Carter, costume designer for the hit movie Marvel’s “Black Panther” will take the stage for a lecture at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Stephens Auditorium. 

Carter has worked in the industry for over three decades and, during this time, has received two academy award nominations for “Best Costume Design” for Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X” in 1993 and Steven Spielberg’s “Amistad” in 1998. She also received an Emmy nomination for the reboot of “ROOTS” in 2016.

Carter has worked with Spike Lee on over 10 films including “Do the Right Thing,” “School Daze,” “Old Boy” and “Malcolm X.” Carter is also known for her work in the films Ava Duvernay’s “Selma” and Lee Daniels’ “The Butler.”

Dr. Eulanda Sanders, department chair of apparel, events and hospitality management (AESHM), is excited for students to meet a designer who has had such an outstanding career.

“I think for our students to be able to interact with a designer of this caliber is exciting,” Sanders said. “To be able to have someone come to campus that has worked with premier directors such as Spike Lee–– to have her share her design process and what inspires her will be impactful.” 

She hopes students will be able to learn from her and her unique approach to design and research, especially in regard to African references. 

“I was really impacted by the ‘Black Panther’ movie myself and her thoughtfulness to integrate historical textile design techniques within costumes that are not seen often within movies,” Sanders said. “So the attention to detail and then also pushing historic textiles along with costume design in a postmodern way resulted in new uses of these techniques.”

Sanders said in “Black Panther,” Carter’s techniques for the costumes all drew from traditional textiles from Africa.

“You have everything from traditional wax prints from West Africa to neoprene type fabrics to 3D printed fabrications all drawing from the essence of traditional textiles from the continent of Africa,” Sanders said. 

Carter’s visit is sponsored by the department of apparel, events and hospitality management (AESHM); Committee on Lectures (funded by Student Government) and the College of Human Sciences, as part of the Helen LeBaron Hilton Chair Lecture Series.